The Plate Meeting Time / Length of Game, including Mercy Rule Field Boundaries Misc Jewelry On Deck Circle Hustle On / Hustle Off
Umpire Hand Calls Safe / Out Ball / Strike Fair / Foul Misc: Infield Fly Off the Bag Juggling the Ball Foul Tip Giving the Count
Umpire Hand Calls
Umpire Hand Signals Infield Fly situation (0 or 1 out) Forgetting the Count or Outs Good Call Pre-Game Conference to discuss signals and situations Arrive 15 minutes before game
Who’s on First? Who’s Abbott and Who’s Castello? Don’t want 2 umpires covering the same play 1 Play = 1 Umpire Plate Umpire – Home Base Umpire – 1B, 2B, and 3B
Getting into the best Position
Asking for Help Leave your ego at home Umpire out of position can get help if they ask for it. Make the call. If the other umpire sees something different, huddle up and talk about it. Ultimately, it’s the original umpire’s call. Create credibility for yourself Mistakes happen Example: First Basemen pulls his foot off the bag
Plate Basics Positioning behind the catcher Chin no lower than the top of the catcher’s head Get into “The Slot” Turn head toward the glove slightly
Calling Strikes / Balls and Safe / Out See It Say It (to yourself) Call It
section 2.00 Definition of Strike – Part B A strike is a legal pitch that is not struck at when any part of the ball passes through any part of the strike zone.
section 2.00 The strike zone is the space over home plate that is between the batter’s armpits and the top of the knees when the batter assumes a natural stance. The umpire shall determine the strike zone according to the batter’s usual stance when that batter swings at a pitch.
Foul Tip Section 2.00 A foul tip is a batted ball that Is sharp and direct from the bat to the catcher’s hand or mitt Must be caught by the catcher not a catch if it is caught on a rebound unless it first hits the catcher’s hand or mitt Is a strike Ball remains alive
Catch / No Catch Field umpire has responsibility for fly balls Field umpire can drift toward the side of the field the ball is on, but shouldn’t leave the diamond. Plate umpire covers bases temporarily (for tagging-up purposes) Signals: Catch = Out signal and say “catch” No Catch = Finger pointing on ground. Don’t verbalize.
Secure possession Complete control of the ball Voluntary release of the ball CATCH – if the ball is dropped in the act of throwing. NO CATCH – if the ball is dropped as a result of a collision or falling or if the ball touches an offensive player, the ground or fence, or an umpire. DEFINITION OF CATCH
Definition of Fair Ball A fair ball is a batted ball that: Settles or is touched on or over fair territory between home and 1B or home and 3B Bounds past 1B or 3B on or over fair territory While on or over fair territory touches the attached equipment or clothing of a player or umpire While over fair territory, passes out of the playing field
FAIR / FOUL Quiz 1 A batted ball settles on home plate. What is your call? FAIR or FOUL
FAIR / FOUL Quiz 2 A batted ball first hits foul ground and without touching any foreign object, rolls into fair territory between 1B and home where it comes to rest. What is your call? FAIR
FAIR / FOUL Quiz 3 FAIR
Reducing the Margin of Error Positioning + Timing = Good Judgment Angle First, Then Distance If you have to, sacrifice distance for angle Get Set – Be stopped for all plays Watch the ball, Glance at the Runners Timing Hustle
Set Position Position Lower your seat; don’t just bend over Place hands on knees or thighs Keep your head up; don’t drop your chin Getting Set Set position assumed BEFORE every pitch Set position assumed BEFORE calling most plays May be situations that mandate a standing “set”
Umpire Field Positions
Number of pitches League age: 7-8 = 50 pitches per day 9-10 = 75 pitches per day = 85 pitches per day = 95 pitches per day = 105 pitches per day A pitcher who delivers 41 or more pitches in a game cannot play the position of catcher for the remainder of the game.
Legal Bats Check bats before the pre-meeting For 2-1/4 diameter, they can be Aluminum, Metal alloy or Composite. They MUST have an "approved for little league" decal on them. For 2-5/8, Composite bats must BBCOR. All bats for this diameter must be "Minus 3“. No “approved for little league” decal is required.
IMPORTANT Carry your Rule Book It is better to consult the Rules and hold up the game long enough to decide a knotty problem than to have a game protested and possibly replayed Official Regulations and Playing Rules p.95
3 scenarios While Incorrect batter is up - Correct the batter and resume the count. Immediately after the Incorrect batter reaches base – Batter is ruled out. A pitch or more after the Incorrect batter reaches base – Permanent Line-up Change. BATTING OUT OF TURN Rule 6.07
Infield Fly Rule Rules 2.00, 6.05d, and 7.08f Rule is to protect the offensive team But most often argued by the offensive manager Must be less than 2 outs Not a line drive or a bunt Can be caught by any fielder “around the diamond” by ordinary effort Runners on 1B and 2B or bases loaded
Umpire declares batted ball to be an infield fly Batter-runner is called out Eliminates all force plays Base protects the runner hit by an infield fly (but not in non-infield-fly situations) Must be fair If the umpire is unsure, yell “If Fair, Infield Fly, Batter’s Out” Infield Fly Rule Rules 2.00, 6.05d, and 7.08f
If caught, play on as a normal situation If dropped, it’s like a “steal” situation. Runners may advanced, but they’re not forced The batter is not in the play (he is out) Infield Fly Rule – 2 scenarios
Important Notes – Rule 7.08(f): If a runner is touched by an Infield Fly when not touching a base, both runner and batter are out. If a runner is touching a base when touched by an Infield Fly, that runner is not out, although the batter is out. However, in a non-infield-fly situation, base does not protect the runner on a fair ball. Infield Fly Rule
An act by a member of the team at bat which interferes with, obstructs, impedes, hinders, or confuses any fielder attempting to make a play Running into a fielder trying to make a catch Yelling at a fielder trying to make a catch Offensive Interference
Only 2 ways Interference with catcher’s throw delayed dead ball benefits the defensive team Umpire hit by a batted ball before passing a fielder immediately call a dead ball benefits the offensive team Umpire Interference Rules 5.09(b), 5.09(f), 6.08(d)
The catcher or any fielder interferes with the batter No interference call when the batter reaches first base AND all other runners advance at least one base delayed call by umpire Catcher’s Interference
Obstruction Rule 7.06 (a) and 7.06(b) Fielder’s Obstruction: When fielder is not making a play on the ball, the runner has the right to the base-path. Delayed Dead Ball Runner’s Obstruction: The fielder has the right to the ball, trumping the runner’s right to the base-path. Dead Ball, Runner is Out, Batter and runners do not advance
Dead Ball Runners Return Foul ball not caught – Rule 5.09(e) Illegally batted ball – Rule 5.09(d) foot out of the batter’s box at the point of contact Plate umpire interference unless runner is thrown out – Rule 5.09(b) Batter interference of the catcher unless runner is thrown out – Rule 6.06(c) if base runner is safe, return to the previous base Batter called out for batting out of turn – Rule 6.07(b)
Dead Ball 1 base awarded Runner attempting to steal when catcher’s interference occurs – Rule 7.04(c) batter also is award 1B Pitched ball lodges in umpire’s mask or equipment - Rule 5.09(g) and 7.05(h) Pitched or thrown ball by the pitcher from the rubber goes into dead territory - Rule 7.05(g) pickoff – ball goes into bleachers ball stuck in backstop or fence ball goes into the dugout Balk
Dead Ball 1 base awarded After catching a fly ball, the fielder falls into dead territory – Rule 7.04(b) dugout stands over a fence into dead territory Hit batsman – Rule 5.09(a) Fair batted ball strikes an umpire – Rule 5.09(f)
Dead Ball 2 Bases Awarded from Time of Pitch Thrown ball into dead territory on first play by an infielder – Rule 7.05(g) Fielder deflects a wild pitch into dead territory while retrieving it – Rule 7.05(f) Fair ball bounces over the fence – Rule 7.05(f) Fair ball is deflected into dead territory
Dead Ball 2 Bases Awarded from Time of Throw Rule 7.05(g) Thrown ball into dead territory on 2 nd play by an infielder attempting a double play Thrown ball into dead territory by an outfielder Any relay throw into dead territory by any fielder
3 Bases Awarded If a fielder deliberately touches a fair ball with a cap, mask or any part of that fielder’s uniform detached from its proper place on the person of said fielder, three bases are awarded and the ball is in play. – Rule 7.05(b) Each runner including the batter-runner may advance three bases if a fielder deliberately throws a glove at and touches a fair ball; the ball remains in play. – Rule 7.05(c)
Delayed Dead Ball Situations Catcher’s interference followed by a batted ball – Rule 6.08(c) Batter’s interference followed by a play or throw – Rule 6.06(c) Plate umpire interference followed by a play or throw –Rule 5.09(b)
Appeals Rule 9.02b If there is reasonable doubt that any umpire’s decision may be in conflict with the rules, the manager may appeal the decision and ask that a correct ruling be made. Such appeal shall be made only to the umpire who made the protested decision. Must be made before the next pitch, play, or attempted play Must be a live ball for appeals to be made Must be made before the defensive team leaves the field
Failure to retouch properly – Rule 7.10(a) Missed base – Rule 7.10(b) Batting out of order – Rule 6.07 Appeals Types of Appealed Plays
Remember who it’s all about!!!
Questions Direct questions to the following addresses: General ATLL Umpire (scheduling): Dave Wingard Jr.: Ben Swinerton: For other questions related to ATLL umpiring opportunities (such as volunteering), contact Lee Peterson: